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Introducing Kloboucká Lesní’s HQ: using Mass Timber and Solar to eliminate carbon in buildings

klouboucka lesni headquarters mjolk architects 32 min
klouboucka lesni headquarters mjolk architects 32 min

Nestled within the natural landscape of Brumov-Bylnice in the Czech Republic, the Kloboucká Lesní’s new 1,034sqm headquarters stands as an elongated structure featuring a distinctive mass timber shell. Kloboucká Lesní – a prominent European integrated forest management company – is responsible for managing sustainable forests, harvesting and manufacturing glue-laminated timber beams (mass timber). Designed by Mjölk architekti, the project, showcased in designboom and Dezeen earlier this month, boasts an oversized timber gable constructed from certified spruce-glulam sourced from the companies nearby forests.

Kloboucká Lesní is an integrated forest management company. Their new office is located just one hundred metres away from one of their forests under management. In addition, they are a fully certified PEFC company meaning that their full forest management, haulage and manufacturing operations are subject to third party certification.
Design Intent

The primary objective of the project was to create a functional, visually appealing building that showcases the beauty and versatility of Kloboucká Lesní’s KVH-BSH (Glulam Beams).

According to Mjölk architekti:

“We proposed a place for creative work, research, and innovation. The main load-bearing structure forms a modular shell for the building, leaving the interior space free and adjustable, including contingencies for unexpected growth. The building design shows the way for future construction projects. Environmentally responsible, simple and modest, but equipped with cutting-edge technology – and placed in a natural setting surrounded by vegetation and water.”

From Crade to Cradle: Kloboucká Lesní’s commitment to Sustainability

Kloboucká Lesní is fully certified to PEFC standards, ensuring that their total forest production process – from forest management, to haulage, manufacture, and distribution – adheres to a total chain of custody process.

The load-bearing structure is made exclusively from timber produced on-site in the Kloboucká Lesní production hall, located just a few hundred meters from the building. The project utilised glued laminated timber for the building frame, which is a flagship product in the company’s portfolio.

“We wanted the new building to be made from local materials and we wanted to know how far we could go with it in terms of design and, more importantly, in terms of construction,” Mjölk Architekti architect Filip Cerha told Dezeen earlier this month.

“The result then is the monumentality of the gable, which gives us a beautiful space of a covered terrace planted with pots of greenery, but above all refers to the magnificence of the possibility of using wood in buildings that can help to build sustainably.”

Sustainability underpins all of Kloboucká Lesní’s activities. Visit their website to learn more about their nursery and how they take care of their forest. (Photo credit: BoysPlayNice)

Indeed, all trees harvested for the project have been replanted, emphasising the commitment by Kloboucka Lesni to a fully circular economy.

A traditional modular shell meets a modern, simple interior

The construction features a glued laminated timber frame, a concrete core, and steel bracing, whilst various types of façade cladding fill each frame span according to the interior program and layout. The modular timber structure offers significant adaptability for future functional changes.

Careful consideration was given to the colour and grain of the wood when selecting the best lumber and the ideal forest for felling. According to Mjölk architekti:

“The Partitions give the interior an open feel. All the glazed walls and the bio-board cladding have sliding bearings in relation to the movement of the timber building.”

The load-bearing structure runs through the entire building, rhythmically dividing the interiors where contemporary design elements contrast nicely with the traditional gable roof exterior. Inside, employee wellbeing and simplicity are prioritized.

At ground level, a series of covered outdoor terraces intersperse the building, encouraging social activities and relaxation. The rooftop features an open space covered by a sophisticated roof with a solar power plant. Where sunlight cannot reach, photovoltaic panels are replaced by glass.

Combining GLT with Solar: The ultimate low embodied carbon building

According to a recent report by the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, the building and construction industry is responsible for a widening gap between climate performance and the 2050 decarbonization pathway.

Completely off-gird: The project combines glulam, solar panels and glazing to generate enough energy storage to run the company’s total energy needs. (Photo credit: BoysPlayNice).

To address this, the project’s combination of glulam, solar panels and glazing ensures that the building has enough energy storage to meet its total production needs – with surplus energy storied in 72 Kw batteries, the building generates enough excess energy to power the company’s total product needs.

In addition, Rainwater runoff from the roof is collected in open ponds and utilized for irrigation and cooling during the summer months. The water surface also helps reflect diffused daylight, bringing lighter deeper into the building. The primary source of heating for the building and the surrounding area is a central boiler house, using biomass from wood chips produced on-site as the main fuel.

A building designed for the future in mind

The project is designed with the future in mind, as it seeks to set the direction for sustainable construction practices.

As Filip Cerha notes, “the building is designed to set the direction for the future, taking into account ecological considerations, simplicity, and frugality combined with the latest technologies.”

It’s focus on environmental solutions, including the use of low embodied carbon materials, solar panels, and rainwater collection, makes it a model for future construction projects seeking to address climate change challenges and promote sustainability. As the building and construction industry continues to grapple with high embodied carbon, this project serves as an inspiration for the construction of beautiful and functional buildings using low embodied materials.

Wood Central: growing the industry and the market with creative, authoritative messages

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LlrazlPo e1675216049287

You have arrived at Wood Central. Welcome.

Wood Central is Australia’s first and only dedicated platform covering wood-based media on all digital platforms.

Our vision is to develop an integrated platform for media, events, education, and products that connect, inform, and inspire the people and organisations who work in and promote forestry, timber and fibre.

Our mission is to positively influence specifiers and consumers of timber-based products, using media to grow the market for forest products and share the stories of ‘the ultimate renewable’ – for the industry by the industry.

We believe that by creating a platform which connects people, ideas, and businesses together we can positively shape the future of Australian forest-products now and into the future.

Growing the market for timber through story telling:

Our core business is industry content. Wood Central delivers by using the best journalists and correspondents who have covered the industry for decades, providing authoritative news and comment through a wide reach of editorial, features, events, and education.

Our content is both digital and interactive using new media streams (including social media, podcasting and video) to connect to a growing audience of specifiers and consumers now connecting with wood.  

We strive to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for our audience through the delivery of informative, consistent, and engaging content.

Our audience is the total market for timber and fibre-based products. It represents the Australian forest products industry – and consumers of timber, paper and wood-based products.

The forest products industry is one of the largest building material providers in Australia with more than 80% house framing using timber-based frames and trusses.

Our products: advertising, promotion, events and education:

Every great business has products that solve problems. In the world of timber, our mission is to offer products that help businesses connect with consumers.

Through display advertising, content, digital marketing and interactive events and education, Wood Central provides an unrivalled platform to promote a business, a product, or a service to the industry.

Quite simply, nothing else exists that is as targeted, trusted and effective as Wood Central.

Display advertising – brand awareness, lead generation:

Advertising is an effective way to build, define, articulate and manage your brand.

It is a defining instrument to ensure your customers and stakeholders have a clear and informed understanding of your product or the service offered.

Display advertising provides an effective channel to generate qualified leads into a sales funnel.

We work with our partners to ensure your business is speaking with our audience in the most effective and meaningful way to ensure that brand awareness and lead generation are maximised.

Content and marketing:

With the rise and proliferation of social media, both in our personal and professional lives, content and its accessibility is now the foundation of how we make decisions.

Whether it is through blog posts, news articles, video, TV or comments, the way we engage, perceive and trust brands is now anchored by content.

We work with our partners to help engage our community in a meaningful way that contributes to the conversation and education of our industry.

Events using expertise to build lasting relationships:

Combining innovative ideas, need-to-know industry information, expert speakers and interactive formats, Wood Central can provide attendees with the information and inspiration that they need to drive the consumption of timber and paper-based products – even further.

JASON ROSS, Publisher

Jason is an experienced sustainability, marketing and communication professional. Drawing on experience as a senior manager and director in a multi-national business ($400m+ turnover), Jason draws on comprehensive experience overseeing project management teams, using advanced project management skills to secure major opportunities by tender submission or negotiation.

Jason has a passion for green buildings. As a former Green Star Accredited Professional (GSAP), he has been an active member of the Queensland GBCA industry committee and has advised the Queensland State Government on environmental protection, heritage, housing and public works.

From 2018 until 2022 Jason managed the Responsible Wood (and PEFC) brands in the Australian and New Zealand market, resulting in a rapid growth in Responsible Wood.

An experienced spokesperson, Jason has presented to a variety of forums including the United Nations (Australia and New Zealand), the Property Council (Australia), Master Builder (Australia), the Building Designer Association of Australia (BDAA), the Australian Institute of Building, the National Retailers Association, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and New Zealand (NZGBC), the PEFC Council (Geneva, Switzerland), the Wood Processors Manufacturing Association (New Zealand) and the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP).

In 2021-22, Jason was awarded a JW Gottstein Fellowship, an international project to explore the role of the circular economy in the Australian forest products industry.

He has a Master’s Degree, Marketing (advanced) from the Queensland University of Technology; is a QUT Graduate School of Management and has a Bachelor Degree, Economics and Management.

JIM BOWDEN, Senior Editor and Co-Publisher

Jim Bowden brings more than 50 years’ experience in agriculture and timber journalism. Since he founded Australian Timberman in 1977, he has been devoted to the forest industry – with a passion.

His career in journalism and media management includes national promotions manager for the Rural Press Group of publications, associate editor and chief of staff, Queensland Country Life, founding editor of The Cattleman, Australian Timberman, Go Camping Australia, Australian Handyman, and Australian Joinery magazines

Jim  was managing editor of Timber&Forestry enews (2010-22) and was national secretary of the JW Gottstein Memorial Trust Fund.
He is a  foundation member of the Rural Press Club and has edited and published six books on deer farming; goats (meat, fibre and milk; Agriculture – An Extension; “A Child’s Organic Garden; Aquaculture in Australia; Fish Farming for Recreation and Profit; and the Australian Forest Industries Directory (2 editions), and recently a children’s book Aussie Bush Rhymes for Younger Minds.

Jim has led or co-led trade missions to the US, South America, New Zealand, Europe, Malaysia, China and The Philippines. He was leader of the EuroWood 2001 tour to the LIGNA Trade Fair in Hannover, Germany, that also inspected timber machinery plants in Austria and Italy.

As an agricultural journalist, Jim was special UK correspondent for Queensland Country Life for six months based in London and Cardiff, Wales.

• Warm welcome to Wood Central, and other thoughts as industry arrives on new platform

An elephant in the room, but a good one… Jim Bowden, leader of the EuroWood 2021 tour to the LIGNA Trade Fair in Hannover, pictured with the Weinig logo on a visit to the German manufacturer’s HQ in Tauberbischofsheim.

MONA Forest Congress ‘A Success’ With Push for Tas Gov Roadmap

Mona’s Kirsha Kaechele has described her three-day Forest Economics Congress as a “raging success” and hopes it will mark a new dawn in the Tasmanian Forest Wars. (Photo Credit: Rosie Hastie)
Mona’s Kirsha Kaechele has described her three-day Forest Economics Congress as a “raging success” and hopes it will mark a new dawn in the Tasmanian Forest Wars. (Photo Credit: Rosie Hastie)

Kirsha Kaechele has described the three-day MONA Forest Economics Congress as “a raging success” and hopes it will end the forest wars between native forest harvesters and environmentalists.

Ms Kaechele’s “dream scenario” is for a “roadmap” to be developed for valuing forests and a list of recommendations that could be provided to the state government.

She also disputed claims by Tasmanian Minister for Resources Felix Ellis, who withdrew from the Congress after claiming “activists” were not acting in good faith.

Ms Kaechele told the Sunday Mercury that his characterisation of the event “would have had a completely different experience” if he had been there in person.

“There were so many uncomfortable moments, but people behaved so well; they were good “to each other, they behaved like adults, and they listened to things they disagreed with,” she said.

Among the event’s highlights, according to Ms Kaechele, was the presentation of a First Nations-led approach to native forest management.

The MONA Forestry Economics Congress was organised by Kirsha Kaechele, the self proclaimed "protector of the forests" (Photo Credit: Sydney Morning Herald)
The MONA Forestry Economics Congress was organised by Kirsha Kaechele, the self proclaimed “protector of the forests” (Photo Credit: Sydney Morning Herald)

More than 100 delegates from across the world attended the Congress, with “several Tasmanian politicians from Labor, the Independents and Greens attending the final day.

Last week, Wood Central reported that FSC Chair Jon Dee was one of the attendees, along with Bob Bown Foundation Organiser Jenny Weber and Tasmanian Forest Products Association CEO Nick Steel. 

According to Ms Weber, environmental groups were disappointed that the Congress was industry-dominated.

“We were talking about monetising carbon in the forests, logging native forests, and I don’t think a Forest Economics Congress needed to be void of the ecology and climate facts,” she said.

Conservationists who attended the Congress published a communique on Friday, calling on the state and federal governments to end native forest logging in Tasmania and to hand back native forests to Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

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Nunami Sculthorpe-Green, Forest Economics Congress, Myrtle Forest Picnic. (Photo Credit: Mona/Jesse Hunniford)

Tasmanian Forest Products Association CEO Nick Steel, who was also a delegate, told the Mercury the Congress was “brave and confronting” but that some of the behaviour from “certain attendees” was “over the top”.

“Overall, there are some outcomes that could explored further, but the main outcome was that conservationists, environmentalists, economists, academics, scientists and industry can, when pushed, come together on controversial topics and talk,” he said.

On Wednesday, Congress received a report from the Blueprint Insitute claiming that ending native forest harvesting in Tasmania could save the state at least $72m.

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A new report by the right-leaning think tank “Blueprint Institute” encourages the Tasmanian State Government to exit the native hardwood industry by mid-2025 if the Australian Government can change the carbon methodology.

The analysis recommended that the state government immediately stop subsidising its Sustainable Timber Tasmania forestry arm and announce that harvesting will end in mid-2025.

The institute said the Tasmanian government and opposition should work with the federal government to introduce a “robust carbon methodology” that allows the state to generate carbon credits by stopping logging and introducing conservation measures.

‘Floating Forest’ Propels Chinese School to World Building of Year!

The WAF jury recognised the increasingly scarce urban space, rapidly growing student population, and high pressure for further education and commended the design for its
The WAF jury recognised the increasingly scarce urban space, rapidly growing student population, and high pressure for further education and commended the design for its "efficiency-first" principle of urban campus construction. (Photo Credit: Huizhen High School)

A Chinese boarding school featuring a “floating forest” and designed to let students unwind “and waste time mindfully” has been crowned 2023 “World Building of the Year.”

The project, which features a rooftop park, treehouses and elevated walkways, secured the title at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Singapore on Friday.

The WAF is considered one of the world’s most prestigious architecture awards, with Wood Central Contributor Mark Thomson being one of 140 judges from 68 countries in Singapore for the three-day design festival.

Day 1 of the World Architecture Festival in Singapore last week – footage courtesy of @worldarchitecturefestival246

Designed by Approach Design Studio and the Zhejiang University of Technology Engineering Design Group, the communal areas of the Huizhen High School campus blur the distinction between inside and out. 

By “condensing” the teaching space, the school “freed up a “floating forest” in the direction where the teaching building faces the morning sun,” according to Approach Design Studio.

With a focus on urban greening, “the lush structure of rainforest plants and towering trees complement each other to create a vertical layering of plant communities within the forest.”

“This technique,” it said, “achieved through layer upon layer of stacking, sets the vertical greening of this space apart from a typical green wall and adds interest to the overall green atmosphere.”

Day 2 of the World Architecture Festival in Singapore last week – footage courtesy of @worldarchitecturefestival246

Di Ma, director at Approach Design Studio, said, “The focus was not just about designing a school, or working with new forms, spaces, materials and facades, but about designing new school life and bringing the power of nature into the building.”

Citing the jury while presenting the award on stage, WAF’s program director, Paul Finch, described the project as “(as) unexpected as it is delightful.”

“The architects managed to create a school which is very different than the usual model, where students are boxed in and put under teaching — as well as architectural — pressure,” Finch told more than 1,000 at the Gala Dinner at the Marina Bay Sands.

“By contrast, this design encourages walking, fresh air and the possibility of relief from academic intensity.”

Day 3 of the World Architecture Festival in Singapore last week – footage courtesy of @worldarchitecturefestival246

The project beat out a shortlist of 250 projects, including Newark Liberty International Airport’s recently opened Terminal A, Australia’s Holocaust Museum in Melbourne and new national stadiums in Cambodia and Senegal.

Buildings were judged across 18 categories, spanning commercial, cultural and residential architecture. Those winners then competed for the overall prize.

The category winners included the Boola Katatjin – which won the Higher Education and Research Prize – for a project incorporating 1800 pieces of mass timber installed like jigsaws in a puzzle.

01 Boola Katitjin John Gollings 1140x759 1
The Boola Katitjin, which was celebrated last week as Australia’s “Building of the Year.”(Photo Credit: John Gollings)

Boola Katajin, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest mass timber building, is one of Australia’s most celebrated buildings, and last week was awarded “Project of the Year” by Engineers Australia.

Other category winners included the “Victoria Heart” project  which secured the Health Overall Building Prize – Australia’s first dedicated cardiac facility, globally recognised for its biophilia and salutogenic design principles.

Fisher and Paykel’s $220m “radical” global headquarters, set to be New Zealand’s largest cross-laminated project, was crowned the “WAFX Award – Building Technology Winner and was “highly commended” across several award categories.

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The Fisher and Paykel global headquarters uses mass timber construction systems to meet ambitious net-zero targets in embodied and operational carbon. (Image Credit: Renders provided by Fisher and Paykel)

Designed by RTA Design, Wood Central last month reported that the new campus development will use a similar diagrid design as Scion Innovation House, which the World Architecture Festival awarded with the 2021 WAF Building of the Year. 

According to Mr Thomson, the design shifts the focus from gravity mass timber buildings to geometrically stiffened forms to help in earthquake conditions.

Other category winners included India’s 2.1 million-square-metre Surat Diamond Bourse, which this year surpassed the Pentagon to become the world’s largest office building, the Lanserhof Sylt, a hotel and health resort in Germany, where buildings combine to form the largest thatched roof in Europe, and a residential home in the suburbs of Winnipeg, Canada.

India’s Surat Diamond Bourse, which was constructed last year, has overtaken the US Pentagon to become the world’s largest office building – footage courtesy of @WION.

Held in Singapore, which is home to three recent winners of World Building of the Year, WAF also handed out prizes for landscape architecture — this year awarded to the Benjakitti Forest Park in Bangkok, Thailand, an “urban ecological sanctuary” being developed on the grounds of a former tobacco plant — as well as proposals for ambitious future architecture projects and interior design.

Australia’s Quay Quarter Tower claimed last year’s top prize, dubbed the world’s first “upcycled” high-rise after its design retained two-thirds of an old skyscraper on the site.

WAF Judge Pushes for Certified Timber to Shape Buildings of Future

Timber is increasingly being embraced by global architects. Bamboo too, with Design and More International winning the WAF Future Project of the Year for
Timber is increasingly being embraced by global architects. Bamboo too, with Design and More International winning the WAF Future Project of the Year for "The Probiotic Tower, Egypt" - a project which uses cross laminated bamboo and timber as a structural core product.

Timber is now being used in more diverse applications, with architects’ thirst for knowledge leading to its “proper use” in projects worldwide.

That is according to World Architecture Festival (WAF) Judge Mark Thomson, who spoke to the Wood Central podcast earlier this year.

WAF, one of architecture’s most prestigious awards, is the largest live awards event for architects and designers. 

In the four years leading up to 2023, Mr Thomson was a judge of the Best Use of Certified Timber Prize sponsored by PEFC International – the only timber-centric prize awarded by an international architecture design competition.

This year, Mr Thomson was again invited to judge the awards, albeit without the timber-centric prize. 

WAF Judge Mark Thomson spoke to Wood Central’s Jason Ross about the future of timber buildings—footage courtesy of @woodcentralau1.

He has, however, watched with interest as more timber-rich projects have been highlighted for “category awards,” “special prizes” and “highly commendable” recommendations.

“I’ve seen the language around timber change,” he said, “I’ve seen the opportunities change.”

“Initially, we were just looking at CLT (or Cross Laminated Timber) buildings, but now it has diversified into crafted buildings and a whole range of timber being used internally and externally, structurally and non-structurally.”

01 Boola Katitjin John Gollings 1140x759 1
The award-winning Boola Katatjin, which has won a raft of awards this year, including Engineers Australia’s “Project of the Year”, featured 1800 pieces of glue laminated timber installed like a jigsaw puzzle. (Photo Credit: John Gollings)

It includes  Boola Katatjin and Fisher and Paykel’s new $220m campus development, both shortlisted for this year’s major prize – won by Huizhen High School for its “Floating Forest” inspired design.

The Fisher and Paykel campus, covered by Wood Central in October, includes a massive 3-story building constructed with a cross-laminated timber diagrid frame similar to that used in the award-winning Scion Innovation House – judged by Mr Thomson in 2021.

Diagrids are an efficient way to provide strength and stiffness and require less material than traditional structures, with the shift away from gravity mass timber buildings to geometrically stiffened forms to help in earthquake conditions.

Speaking to Wood Central earlier this year, Mr Thomson said, “That particular project (SCION House) was a controversial winner,” before confirming “it was an appropriate award winner.”

Shining a light on the SCION Innovation Hub, the 2021 Best Use of Certified Timber Prize Winner – footage courtesy of @woodcentralau1.

“Timber had a very strong structural element,” he said, “but it was a glass building,” with timber and glazing together providing a connection for the inside and outside.

“This is part of the interesting debate we will have in the future about what we need to do to achieve the outcomes.”

That includes hybrid construction systems, with Wood Central reporting that researchers now working on creating new building materials using combinations of timber, steel and concrete. These ‘sandwich’ building systems can offer enhanced strength, durability, and reduced weight to eliminate carbon footprint.

A Brisbane resident, Mr Thomson is co-author of ‘The Environmental Brief – Pathways to Green Design and is a multi-award winning “sustainable architect.” 

A past recipient of the Courier Mail “People’s Choice Award”, he co-founded the Centre for Sub Tropical Design – a collaboration between the Brisbane City Council and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) – promoting design that is appropriate for the subtropical climate and lifestyle of Southeast Queensland. 

Following the confirmation that the Gabba will be subject to a $2.7B total rebuild, is Brisbane ready for a Carbon Positive Games? Footage courtesy of @woodcentralau1.

And with planning for the Olympics now underway, Mr Thomson, an active member of the influential Committee for Brisbane, has some advice for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Organising Committee.

Billed as the first “Carbon Positive Games” in history, Mr Thomson “is dubious that a carbon positive games can be delivered” unless there is greater use of greener construction materials and an understanding of the certification process that underpins sustainability claims.

The truth about third-party certification and why you should care about it – footage courtesy of @woodcentralau1.

In 2017, Mr Thomson became the world’s first architect appointed a PEFC-aligned certification scheme board member and strongly supported using third-party certification on building products.

“In this world of fake news, I think it’s essential to have third-party verification of what you have done,” Mr Thomson said.

“You need creditable evidence to back up what you say,” he said, “people often tell you what you want to hear (not what you need to hear), which can be two very different things.”

“I pay a lot of attention not just to the architectural materials but also the credentials that come with it.”

Will Vic Court Halt on Windthrow Salvage Elevate Fire Risk?

Last weeks Supreme Court decision related to VicForests Timber Utilisation Plan in the Wombat State Forest. Where Traditional Owners have been working to
Last weeks Supreme Court decision related to VicForests Timber Utilisation Plan in the Wombat State Forest. Where Traditional Owners have been working to "heal the country" (Photo credit: DJAARA Traditional Owners Corporation)

Timber harvesting will be banned in the Wombat State Forest until at least February – well past when native forestry will cease in Victoria – after the Victorian Supreme Court extended an injunction and set a new timeframe for a five-day trial billed as “the battle of experts.”

The injunction will include windthrow salvage, with VicForests’ lawyer Jason Pizer warning the court that the matter could affect the intensity of any fire, which experts warn could be “moderate to severe”.

“The consequences to flora, fauna and human life could be catastrophic,” VicForests’ lawyer Jason Pizer told the court.

“Nobody wants that to occur,” Mr Pizer said.

Deciding on the Wombat Forestcare Inc v VicForests case last week, the court heard that Wombat Forestcare Inc. identified at least 25 species of flora and 33 species of fauna in the Wombat State Forest “that needed protection from logging and other activity.”

It is an extension from the 13 identified in the interim injunction on activities granted in late September.

The endangered mountain skink has been found in Wombat State Forest. (Photo Credit: Supplied by Gayle Osborne via ABC News)

In her ruling, Supreme Court Justice Melinda Richards said the order covered timber harvesting as defined within the code of practice for timber production while also including the “movement, collection, removal and cutting of naturally fallen trees and branches”.

The VicForests team questioned whether the term “timber harvesting operations” should cover the removal of windthrow, with Mr Pizer proposing an earlier and shorter separate trial for that question alone, which was rejected outright by Justice Richards.

According to Wombat Forestcare’s barrister, Jonathan Korman, the group wanted to extend the injunction to seek urgent protections for these other forest areas. “There may be serious environmental damage going on,” he said.

Mr Korman presented a timeline of VicForests’ actions, which he suggested indicated a delayed and insufficient response to expert evidence already submitted to the court. He said lizard surveys by hand, meant to be conducted by VicForests, had been postponed despite the recommendation of experts.

VicForests, which will be dismantled over the next few weeks, is struggling to complete a reptile survey for mountain skinks due to the wet weather. Still, its lawyers confirmed that the survey would be finalised once conditions improved.

VicForests has been conducting salvage logging operations in Wombat State Forest to clear debris following wild storms in June and October 2021. 

In June, Wood Central revealed that DJAARA Traditional Owner Corporation, a Victorian Aboriginal group, is working with VicForests to “heal the country.” It has now urged the State Government to let it take the lead on healing a 70,000ha – the Wombat State Forest – earmarked for a national park on the outskirts of Naarm (Melbourne). (Photo Credit: Supplied by DJAARA Traditional Owners Corporation)

As revealed by Wood Central in June, VicForests has a “Timber Utilisation Plan” with the DJARRA Traditional Owner Corporation, with the decision to cease harvesting having a “drastic and highly impactful decision on their realisation of healthy Country.”

Approved Timber Utilisation Plans allow for timber harvesting outside the Victorian Government’s Allocation Order 2013 – the area of coupes where state-owned VicForests are permitted to harvest.

Under the Timber Utilisation Plan, DJARRA’s primary focus is to remove windthrown timber and apply ‘forest gardening’ to this work. In this regard, the principle is to listen to what the Country needs and respond by removing the fallen timber.

In June and October 2021, major storms in the Wombat State Forest impacted more than 80,000 hectares of forest and 1,500km of the road network, affecting the landscape, Cultural Heritage, and industry in an area including the Wombat and Lederberg State Forests.

The scale of this damage created significant risks in increased bushfire conditions, limited recreational use of the area, and impacted cultural use by Traditional Owners.

Aware that the court date could well occur after a date that the very existence of VicForests is unknown, Justice Richards told the VicForests team she was “acutely conscious” of the uncertainty the company was in and said she “wish(ed) it were not so”.

Brazil Pushes $250B Tropical Forest Fund To Halt Deforestation

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is pushing for the establishment of a
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is pushing for the establishment of a "megafund" to incentivise tropical countries transition from deforestation. (Photo Credit: Stock Photo from the Brazilian Government)

Brazil is pushing to create a $250 billion “megafund” and wants to use funds from global governments and the private sector to give to tropical countries meeting minimum thresholds for limiting deforestation.

The fund, which Wood Central reported last week, is now known as the “Tropical Forests Forever” and would see a reduction in funding should deforestation increase.

Proposed as part of a panel at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai last night, Brazilian Environment Minister Marina Silva and Finance Minister Fernando Haddad said the fund is capitalising on the interest in nature-based solutions for addressing climate change.

Wood Central understands that Brazil is the primary driver of the fund but is supported by twelve countries representing the Amazon, Congo Basin and Southeast Asia.

The countries, which include more than 80% of the world’s tropical forests, are behind a push by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for the rich “to pay money not only to take care of canopy but to take care of the people who live under it.”

The Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has told developed countries to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to protecting the world’s remaining tropical forests, as major rainforest nations demanded hundreds of billions of dollars of climate financing and a more significant role in how those resources are spent—footage courtesy of @guardiannews.

In August, the countries signed a pact known as “United for Our Forests,” pushing for wealthier countries to do more to assist poorer countries in transitioning to a green economy.

“It’s a conceptual proposal to create a fund to help conserve tropical forests around the world…in 80 countries,” according to Brazil’s top climate diplomat, Andre Correa do Lago, at COP28.

And unlike existing schemes, the fund would not value forest conservation in terms of carbon “since protecting forests would prevent further greenhouse gas emissions rather than absorbing additional carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere.”

Instead, the value is linked to measuring forest area in hectares or units of 0.01 square kilometres.

Establishing a new fund would be in conjunction with the US $100B “Loss and Damage Fund” committed by wealthier countries as part of the Paris Climate Agreement.

King Charles III at COP28 joined global Heads of State and Government, business CEOs, philanthropists, and heads of NGOs, to celebrate the important role the private sector plays in driving climate action (Photo Credit: The Royal Family)
King Charles III at COP28, joined global Heads of State and Government, business CEOs, philanthropists, and heads of NGOs to celebrate the important role the private sector plays in driving climate action (Photo Credit: The Royal Family)

On Friday, Wood Central reported that more than $420m had been pledged by some of the world’s wealthiest countries to assist in setting up the fund – including the UAE, Germany, the UK, the USA and Japan.

The loss and damage fund refers to the impact of climate-induced events on economies, infrastructures, and societies. Small island states have been rallying for dedicated funding for years, and significant nations agreed to do so at COP28 as part of the climate discussions in Dubai.

It also coincides with new research, which suggests more than 6.6 million hectares of forest will be lost to deforestation in 2022, an increase of 4% compared to 2021.

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According to its most recent assessment, “Off Track and Falling Behind”, it claims the rate of deforestation was “21% higher than needed to eliminate deforestation by 2030.”

For the first time, the report offers a comprehensive blueprint for saving forests, “defining for the first time the pathways to stop destroying forests, to meet global commitments and bring our forests back to life,” according to co-author Mary Gagen from the WWF-UK. 

Earlier this year, new research from the University of Maryland reported that an area of tropical forest the size of Switzerland was lost last year as tree losses surged.

A Home Among the Gum Trees: Will the Great Koala National Park Actually Save Koalas?

Originally published by the Conversation and shared by Wood Central under creative commons. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)
Originally published by the Conversation and shared by Wood Central under creative commons. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

It’s a visionary idea: a national park for koalas. Conceived over a decade ago, the idea gained prominence after Labor took the idea to three successive elections in New South Wales. Now they’re in office and have finally begun putting commitment to action.

The original idea is simple: a park stretching from Grafton to Kempsey in northern NSW, drawing in over 300,000 hectares of state forest and existing national parks. Covering prime koala habitat, the park would be a safe haven for the now-threatened koala as its numbers on the east coast dwindle.

But will it be enough to save the koala from extinction?

Much of the land set aside for the national park has been either logged or burned. And worse, many of the eucalypt plantations inside the state forest have been excluded from the proposed park, meaning key food sources will not be protected.

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Source: NSW EPA, Tim Cadman
A park with logging and plantations?

Since the idea was canvassed, the megafires of the 2019–2020 summer have affected more than a third of the proposed park, and killed many hundreds – or even thousands – of koalas. Even so, policy is driven by the original park boundaries and koala population data collected before the fires.

burned koala in tree
The megafires of the Black Summer hit tree-dwelling koalas hard. John, CC BY-ND

When you see the phrase “state forest” on a map, it means logging is usually allowed. In National Parks, of course, it’s not.

The Great Koala National Park covers a number of state forests, where logging has continued.

In 2018, the previous state government extended the state’s Regional Forest Agreement logging laws for another twenty years. But this extension did not consider the impacts of climate change on forest management, meaning logging levels were not reduced to reflect changing environmental conditions.

In fact, the government went the other way, loosening logging rules to permit larger trees to be cut while koala management prescriptions were weakened. The removal of natural habitat trees up to 140cm diameter were permitted. If a koala was sighted in a tree, that tree could still be removed if the koala moved on.

Despite ongoing calls from scientists and citizens, the current state government has allowed logging in the proposed park to continue largely unchecked.

Even when the government has intervened, it has been too little, too late. The recent suspension of logging of 8,000 hectares of forest in so-called koala “hubs” with high population density will not be enough to offset the damage from ongoing logging. Worse, some of the hubs have already been logged.

When you look at the provisional park boundary – which includes the hubs –  you can see all plantations inside the park are excluded.

This, too, doesn’t make much sense. That’s because koalas, as eucalyptus leaf-eating specialists, actually like hardwood plantations. Similarly, many areas now zoned as plantation were never actually logged and replanted. Instead, they’re a mix of original native forest and regrowth, or mixed species of local stock indistinguishable from the natural forests of the region.

These plantations are mostly on prime soils on the coast and consist of moist eucalypt forest and rainforest – ideal food and habitat for the koalas.

But when these areas are clearfelled, they are usually replaced with monoculture coastal blackbutt, which koalas do not like to eat.

As a result, these plantation areas – whether real or just on the map – are critical to the integrity of the park. Koalas cannot read maps, and do not understand human zoning. If their habitat in plantations is cleared, they die – just as we’ve seen in Victoria, where deaths of koalas in blue gum plantations have made national news.

Bring the plantations into the park

As Victoria and Western Australia fast-track the end of native forest logging, New South Wales has so far not followed suit.

But this may change, as efforts grow within the federal Labor party to end native forest logging altogether.

If this happens, where will we get timber from? The obvious answer is from plantations. The problem for the NSW Labor government is that the plantations on the mid north coast are prime koala habitat.

For a koala-protecting National Park to actually protect koalas, it must be based on the identification and reservation of high value habitat – such as hardwood plantations.

If we leave all plantations out, some of the best habitat in the park will continue to be logged. Without plantations, the park will be filled with holes, severing critical corridors and hampering the movement of koalas.

What should we do?

We have to restore the areas lost to logging and the Black Summer bushfires and flag more forested areas for inclusion – especially unburnt habitat.

And the government has to end logging within the proposed park area. If we want a viable alternative, the government should begin new plantations outside the park area and buy out existing logging contracts inside the park. Logging and koalas do not mix.

aerial photo of logged area with intact forest behind
Inside the proposed park, many areas of prime koala habitat have already been logged. This shows Tuckers Nob State Forest after logging. Google/Airbus, CC BY-ND

We should give up on the idea of protecting koala “hubs”. Instead, we should prioritise the protection of koala populations unaffected by fire and in untouched forest areas wherever they are, whether inside or outside of these hubs.

Every bit of habitat on public land should be ruled in, as this is what counts, not zoning. Local communities – not just the forest industry and environment groups – need to be included in negotiations. The government should also consider community efforts to seek World Heritage protection for these forests.

If the proposed park is to live up to the “Great” in its name, it has to be as big and as well connected as possible. Ruling out some of the best koala habitat in the area is not a great place to start.

As COP28 Kicks Off, Why Timber Skyscrapers Could Take Over Dubai!

Dubai is one the most heavily urbanised city centres on earth, with the UAE now looking to decarbonisation and retrofitting in order to meet it's ambitious net-zero commitments.
Dubai is one the most heavily urbanised city centres on earth, with the UAE now looking to decarbonisation and retrofitting in order to meet it's ambitious net-zero commitments.

As world leaders gather in Dubai for the COP28 summit, the UAE is spending more than US $160 Billion to drive a net-zero agenda amid a rivalry with Saudi Arabia to become the Middle East’s “green power.”

Announced in October 2021, the UAE became the first country in the Middle East and North African region to deliver a plan for net zero, with Israel, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia (also in 2021) and Oman (in 2022) joining as part of a broader push for the region to embrace green technologies.

According to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president, prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the plan cements the Gulf state’s “leadership on climate change within our region and take this key economic opportunity to drive development, growth and new jobs as we pivot our economy and nation to net zero.”

The UAE commitment was made at COP26, along with Israel, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Footage courtesy of @TheEconomist.

Known as the “UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative”, the plan, expected to be updated at COP28, targets power, agriculture, infrastructure, and transportation.

The plan includes a commitment by the UAE to supply 25% of the world’s green hydrogen, establish the world’s largest carbon trading exchange in Abu Dhabi, and plant more than 100 million mangrove seedlings to restore ecosystems and sequester carbon.

It has also seen Dubai and Abu Dhabi beef up Green Building and Sustainability Standards, including Al Sa’fat (Dubai) and Estidama (Abu Dahabi) – both hybrids of Green Star, LEED and BREEAM, which emphasise operational energy over embodied carbon and water consumption.

Over the past decade alone, more than 45,000 projects covering more than 60 million square metres of commercial, industrial, and residential buildings and villas have been constructed to meet these standards.

Whilst new plan calls for more than 2000 buildings to be “retrofitted” to reduce operational emissions.

In November 2015, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and also the ruler of Dubai, launched the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy program. Footage courtesy of @innovativetechs3044.

In the last two decades, Dubai, in particular, has been the subject of one of the world’s most extensive mass urbanisation projects, leading to a 2.6-fold increase in electricity consumption and a 2.9-fold increase in grid capacity in the years leading up to the plan. 

However, with steel and concrete preferred by UAE developers over timber, officials are now grappling with a new challenge in their push to reduce emissions – the high embodied cost of steel and concrete, which now runs the risk of jeopardising their commitments.

According to the UN, concrete, steel, aluminium and glass – the four most popular construction materials used in Dubai-based developments are collectively responsible for 23% of global emissions, with the UN pushing for bio-based alternatives to replace materials.

UAE now needs to look at embodied carbon emissions from buildings in order to meet their climate commitments. Footage courtesy of @BuilderforClimateAction.

This has led the University of Wollongong in Dubai to host events for UAE officials, developers and builders to seize the initiative and embrace mass timber as a new solution for greenfield construction.

However, the push for the Middle East to embrace mass timber construction systems has been several years in the making.

In October 2019, Michael Obermair, the CEO of the German engineering business Wolf System, claimed that breakthroughs in manufacturing and the push for the green economy meant that it was only a matter of time before “wooden skyscrapers” would take off in the UAE.

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In September 2021, architectural practice URB has unveiled its plans to develop the world’s largest Urban Tech District along the Al Jaddaf Creekside in Dubai, UAEWith innovation and sustainability at its core, the project joins the global transition towards achieving net-zero carbon goals by proposing a host of ‘green’ programs and practices

Wolf System is a family-run contractor and sustainable construction services provider with 3,000 staff worldwide – including in the UAE and the wider region.

“Around the world, especially in Canada, Austria, Australia and Japan, we have seen in the last few years more and more timber high-rise buildings,” he said.

“The tallest ones… result in constructions which were completed significantly quicker than a concrete building of the same height.”

“Following this worldwide trend and commitment [to] sustainability, I do see timber skyscrapers taking off in the Middle East.”

Perhaps Mr Obermair is correct, and the 140,000 square metre Urban Tech District, set to be the world’s largest net-zero tech precinct, can be constructed from mass timber, bamboo, recycled steel and concrete!

Why UN-Operated Carbon Market Will Have Major Impact on Forests

Changes to Article 6 at COP26, was considered a breakthrough agreement to regulate trading of carbon credits, now leaders are pushing for a UN-operated international market at COP28 in UAE. (Photo Credit: Yves Herman/Reuters)
Changes to Article 6 at COP26, was considered a breakthrough agreement to regulate trading of carbon credits, now leaders are pushing for a UN-operated international market at COP28 in UAE. (Photo Credit: Yves Herman/Reuters)

World leaders are pushing to set up a UN-operated international carbon credits market, which, if established, will provide standardised methodologies for credits between countries and across trading zones.

To achieve this, negotiators must determine if credits should be issued only for demonstrated emissions reductions or if projects that aim to avoid releasing emissions can also qualify in the global market.

Known as emission avoidance, the decision will decide if countries that choose not to drill for oil reserves or protect forests from harvesting or logging should be eligible for credits in international markets.

Allowing emission avoidance into the UN-operated carbon credit market would make decisions by governments to close forests from logging highly lucrative and could drive investment into the carbon market.

Protocols must also be agreed upon before countries can authorise private offset sales abroad and when a country can revoke or revise that authorisation – for example, if a project violates human rights, according to Reuters.

Wood Central understands that the new market is a crucial focus of the COP28 summit in Dubai and follows COP26, where negotiators in Glasgow reached an agreement to regulate the trading of carbon credits in schemes first envisioned in Article 6 of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Arising from COP26 in Glasgow, changes to Article 6 have been transformational for international carbon markets—footage courtesy of @Bloomberg Live.

Under Article 6, there are two types of trading open – one is a bilateral deal in which countries have the freedom to set their terms, and the other is within a centralised body overseen by the UN.

The Glasgow agreement set up the rules for bilateral swaps of offsets called “internationally transferable mitigation outcomes,” or ITMOs.

While negotiators successfully set up ITMOs, the UN-supervised multilateral trading scheme has been complex, as negotiators and a recently formed supervisory body debate rules for issuing credits and how to account for them in trading.

Negotiators will also look at whether reforestation efforts should be allowed within the multilateral scheme, and how to handle issues such as forests burning down after credits are sold.

“Article 6 probably won’t be at the top of the political agenda this year, even if carbon markets will still be a big topic for the private sector,” said Gilles Dufrasne of Carbon Market Watch.

But that may help the Article 6 negotiations to “avoid extreme politicisation” and allow the technical delegates to get critical work done, the Carbon Trading Association IETA said in a Nov. 16 written analysis.

Mireia Vilaplana (Senior Director of Climate Policy, Finance and Carbon Markets) explains why Article 6 is one of the key topics at the COP26 talks and how the private sector can get involved in the Paris Agreement—footage courtesy of @SouthPole.
How do Carbon Markets Work?

Separate from the offsets trading envisioned under the Paris Agreement, there are two existing types of carbon markets – compliance and voluntary.

Compliance markets apply to companies and sectors where emissions cuts are mandatory by law. They operate in the European Union, California and other countries, including New Zealand.

 Rules vary, but they typically require companies to buy a permit for every tonne of carbon they emit – effectively forcing firms to pay when they pollute.

The market for compliance emissions was worth more than US $865 billion last year, with the EU making up the vast majority of that sum – but it does not allow any international offset credits, as identified under Article 6.

Some companies under no legal obligation to cut their emissions have set voluntary targets, which they can meet partially through buying credits on a voluntary carbon market. In 2021, the voluntary market was valued at about $2 billion.

It is unclear how various existing carbon markets might play into the U.N.-run trading scheme, which also would depend on national laws.

Some experts fear that voluntary credits sold internationally outside the Paris Agreement could result in two countries counting the same emission cuts toward their targets.

Why Boola Katatjin Is One of the Most Awarded Buildings for 2023!

In March 2023 the latest group of Murdoch University students attended graduation ceremonies at the state-of-the-art Boola Katitjin building.
In March 2023 the latest group of Murdoch University students attended graduation ceremonies at the state-of-the-art Boola Katitjin building.

The first mass timber-engineered building in Western Australia has won the state’s highest honour in the 2023 Australian Insitute of Architects Awards.

Covered by the West, the 180-meter-long structure has earned its title as the Southern Hemisphere’s largest mass timber building, even securing a feature on ABC’s Landline.

The $135 million building was also awarded for Education Architecture and Sustainable Architecture.

But beyond the sum of its parts — designed by Carey Lyons from Aspect Studios and supported by Perth-based Trent Woods, Officer Woods – and local design firms Fulcrum Agency and Silver Thomas Hanley — the design gives the 50-year-old campus a new heart.

The building is 180 metres long and comprises 16000 square metres of educational space.

According to Trent Woods from Officer Woods, this six-star Green Star building is a true triumph of scale and sustainability.

“The timber aspect of the building is its greatest environmental showcase because it is demonstrating the ability to build timber frame at a large scale, at a tertiary institution level,” said Mr Woods.

“One of the great things about this building is its use of scale. Everything is slightly larger, slightly bigger than you would expect.”

Murdoch University Chancellor Gary Smith officially opened the building in April 2023. Footage courtesy of @murdochdigitialmedia
Australia’s largest glulam timber beams installed by volume

The building’s structural system incorporates nearly 1800 pieces of mass timber.

Multiplex Regional Director Chris Palandri said approximately 2,143 tonnes of timber had been used across the project.

“It’s a bit like a giant Meccano set or puzzle, with glue-laminated pieces of timber of all different lengths and shapes manufactured offsite before being fitted into place on site,” Mr. Palandri said.

“Some of the glue-laminated timber beams used within the Northern Plaza are the largest ever installed in Australia by volume – at 7,282 kilograms each, extending 26 metres in length.

In November 2022, the giant glue-laminated roof was installed on the building. Footage courtesy of @murdochdigitialmedia
An emphasis on sustainability

The building’s environmental leadership is also buoyed by its water harvesting system, which captures run-off from the hipped roof and uses it on university grounds, which will one day accommodate 26,000 native plants.

Large windows let the breeze waft through the bushland, infusing the building with fresh air. Air vents in the floor, linked to an air-conditioning system powered by a 450Kw solar-panel array, are especially effective at dispersing heated air.

The new building reorients the front door of the campus towards the south, creating a primary new route for public transport access and better connection to the Fiona Stanley and St John of God hospitals and the Murdoch Health and Knowledge Precinct.

The design also overcomes the once-intractable universal access issues, which previously suffered a 13m rise from the entry to the centre.

The new facility uses audio, video, and interactive artwork to build a greater connection with students. Footage courtesy of @murdochdigitialmedia
A testament to the original architect

But for all its game-changing qualities, the new building provides continuity, reinforcing and upscaling the bush campus approach of the original architect Gus Ferguson in the 1970s.

The building’s glass walls further the bush campus by enhancing the connection with extraordinary landscapes.

Boola Katitjin by Lyons in collaboration with Officer Woods, The Fulcrum Agency, Silver Thomas Hanley and Aspect Studios

Olivera Nenadovic, an architecture graduate at Officer Woods, said there was a view of nature from almost every part of the building.

“The glass walls provide a constant vantage point to the surroundings, to maintain that connection to the outside,” she said.

The designers say they have delivered large-scale collaborative teaching and learning spaces that support the university’s education.

How COP28’s Loss & Damage Fund Drives $100B+ Climate Transition

King Charles III at COP28 joined global Heads of State and Government, business CEOs, philanthropists, and heads of NGOs, to celebrate the important role the private sector plays in driving climate action (Photo Credit: The Royal Family)
King Charles III at COP28 joined global Heads of State and Government, business CEOs, philanthropists, and heads of NGOs, to celebrate the important role the private sector plays in driving climate action (Photo Credit: The Royal Family)

More than $420m has been pledged by some of the world’s wealthiest countries to assist developing countries with damage caused by climate change.

The new fund will help drive the $100b promised by wealthy countries in the Paris Climate Agreement and help developing countries manage the impacts of climate-change-induced damage.

It came before the official programming for the World Leaders Summit, which starts later today and followed COP27, which saw wealthy nations make a U-turn on their historic opposition to the Global Fund. 

The breakthrough occurred when a host of countries, led by the UAE, Germany, the UK, the US and Japan, agreed to the calls from small island states to set up dedicated funding streams for loss and damage

The Opening Speech from COP28 by Executive Secretary Simon Stiell in Dubai – footage courtesy of UN Climate Change.

The loss and damage fund refers to the impact of climate-induced events on economies, infrastructures, and societies. Small island states have been rallying for dedicated funding for years, and significant nations agreed to do so at COP28. 

First suggested by Vanuatu in 1991, it recognises that those countries likely to be most affected by climate change are the least responsible for the problem itself. 

The fund ensures those who created the problem of climate change – developed states and major emitters – would compensate those experiencing its most devastating effects.

Wood Central understands that the loss and damage fund could result in some of the most densely forested countries in the world being eligible for the fund, given the impact of climate change on the world’s forest canopy.

According to Ambassador Pa’olelei Luteru, the AOSIS Chair, “the work is far from over. After the gavel drops at COP28, we cannot rest until this fund is adequately financed and starts to alleviate the burden of vulnerable communities. Success starts when the international community can properly support the victims of this climate crisis, with efficient, direct access to the finance they urgently need.”

This morning, the Guardian revealed that talks on the logistics of the fund took place between November 3 and 5 in Abu Dhabi. After several lengthy meetings, negotiators finally agreed on a blueprint for operationalising a global loss and damage fund. 

The World Bank has agreed to act as administrator for the fund for at least four years – with administration of the fund after that yet to be determined.

 Additionally, nations that should pay in have been named, including the US, UK, EU and the G20. Those countries will be “urged” to contribute their fair share, while rapidly developing nations with major economies, like China, will be “encouraged” to pay in.

COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber’s Opening Speech at the UN Climate Change Conference – footage courtesy of UN Climate Change.

Members of a “Transitional Committee” called for the fund to operate in line with the principles of the Paris Agreement, which saw $100b in promised annual climate finance largely ignored by wealthy nations.

The UN’s latest adaptation gap report, published last month, warns that current annual levels of international climate adaptation funding could need to increase eighteen times (from $21b in 2021 to £387b by 2030) without more concerted climate mitigation efforts. 

Momentum is building for wealthier countries to pay their way – and assist developing countries with the transition to a zero-carbon economy.

Last week, Wood Central reported that Brazil will propose a “huge” fund to pay for the conversion of tropical forests. According to the country’s top negotiator, the financial mechanism is the latest in the proliferation of multilateral environmental funds looking to tackle deforestation.

It comes as Brazil, along with twelve countries representing the Amazon, Congo Basin and Southeast Asia, has signed a pact, “United for Our Forests,” pushing for wealthier countries to do more to assist poorer countries in transitioning to a green economy.

“Our countries must wield more influence over the management of resources allocated to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity,” according to the official communique.

In JuneBrazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced ambitious plans to halt deforestation in the Amazon by 2030, marking a significant shift in the country’s environmental policy. However, critics question if the plan can overcome the challenges left by the previous administration and significant obstacles in law and infrastructure. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Countries agreed in the past year to establish a giant fund dedicated to biodiversity and another to pay for the destruction caused by climate change.

The funds funnel money from rich countries to poor developing nations that struggle to pay for their environmental efforts.

However, Brazil wants to go further.

Wood Central understands that Brazil presented the idea of a tropical forest conservation fund yesterday to a ministerial meeting from seven other Amazon rainforest countries.

“It’s a conceptual proposal to create a fund to help conserve tropical forests around the world…in 80 countries,” according to Brazil’s top climate diplomat, Andre Correa do Lago.

Asked if the fund would rival $100 billion in annual funding previously promised by rich nations in climate financing, Correa do Lago declined to give the proposed size of the fund but said it would be “huge.”

Like many existing schemes, the fund would not value forest conservation in terms of carbon “since protecting forests would prevent further greenhouse gas emissions rather than absorbing additional carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere,” Correa do Lago said.

He said the value would likely instead be linked to the area of forest measured in hectares or units of 0.01 square kilometres (0.0039 square miles).

The international proposal to conserve forests will be partnered with a domestic program to reforest destroyed areas.

Brazil also will launch plans at COP28 for an “Arc of Restoration” to counter the so-called arc of deforestation advancing ever deeper into the Amazon.